Aida Maria Galápagos Cruise
Great value for your money on board this charming ship
A Galápagos Cruise on board the Aida Maria
Single travellers can share cabin
100% CO2 carbon footprint offset
-25% for children < 12
What better way to experience the Galápagos islands than on board a yacht that was designed and built right here in the islands from local materials and using local craftsmen? The Aida Maria was launched here in 1997, and her owner's family have been a part of Galápagos life since the 1930s. A Galápagos cruise aboard Aida Maria gives you a unique perspective on these unique islands. - Built in Galápagos, for Galápagos - Excellent value for money - Brilliant itineraries - Passionate local crew and operator Balancing comfort and price We think Aida Maria gets the balance just right between affordable Galápagos cruising and having an enjoyable, comfortable and stylish experience. When you step on board, it's remarkable to think that the entire ship was made using local Galápagos timbers and that beautifully polished wood takes pride of place in Aida Maria's decor. She boasts 8 double cabins with traditional-style bunks. The cabins are decorated in lovely light and airy style, and they all have a private bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and classic porthole windows. The communal areas on board have simply stunning polished wood floors and ceilings, but the ship doesn't feel dark because of this. In fact, her saloon boasts large panoramic windows that span the entire length of this deck, flooding her with equatorial light, and providing you with first-class views of the islands as you dine or relax with fellow guests. Unusually for a ship of this class, Aida Maria has 2 sundecks where you can soak up the Galápagos rays. The upper sundeck gives delightful views and has a canopy for shade, but you can also choose to relax on the bow of the main deck - but don't forget your sunblock! As befits a boat with so much local provenance, the dining experience sees your chef use the freshest ingredients to prepare a wide range of delicious local and regional specialties in addition to a great variety of international favorites. Wonderful wildlife Aida Maria's owners have used their intimate knowledge of their home to design a range of superb itineraries for you to choose from. The Aida Maria's itineraries are among the most flexible in her class in terms of sites visited and length of Galápagos cruise - there are currently 6 different options you can take! You can even choose the combine her two best itineraries into one 15-day Galápagos cruise of a lifetime. Whichever you choose, you can be assured of seeing a wide range of stunning Galápagos wildlife and remarkable Galápagos islands. Her onboard naturalist guides are all highly experienced National Park approved locals, and they speak English and Spanish. They will go out of their way to bring you closer to the wildlife and habitats of the islands, and they will be a fascinating source of information for you throughout your trip. Our comments This is a genuinely local ship, and her crew are one of the most dedicated in the fleet. With 8 members to serve a maximum of 16 guests, you are ensured of levels of service beyond your expectation for a Galápagos cruise of this class. We love to sit on her bow sundeck as we cruise along, and we can't help but have a soft spot for her as a true Galápagos "local". However, her crowning glory is the wonderful range of itineraries. If you need help to choose the perfect one for you, contact one of our expert Galápagos travel advisors today.
Pictures and Deckplans of Aida Maria
Dates & Prices on board the Aida Maria
When do you want to travel?
The sailing routes of Aida Maria
Amenities on board the Aida Maria
Single travellers can share cabin
Transfers to and from ship
Water, Coffee, Tea & fresh juices
100% CO2 carbon footprint offset
Air conditioning & private bathroom
All meals throughout the cruise
-25% for children < 12
Sustainability on board the Aida Maria
At Galapatours we love and respect the pristine ecosystems and fascinating wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, and we insist that our cruise partners do too. To protect the archipelago all our cruise vessels must have sophisticated water filtration systems, modern efficient engines, and strict maintenance schedules to minimize pollution.
The Galápagos National Park authority also defines exact cruising routes that dictate which ships can visit highlights at specific times, as well as limiting passenger numbers. These measures ensure that animals and habitats are not disturbed by too many visitors.
But at Galapatours we like to go even further. We voluntarily offset all the CO2 emissions of every cruise we sell - at no cost to you. And you can also play your part by traveling responsibly and following our Eco Guidelines during your stay. Click here to find out more about these guidelines, our commitment to sustainable tourism, and the Galápagos National Park rules.
Technical details of Aida Maria
66fts / 20m
2 CAT 125hp each
24fts / 7m
Food & Drinks on board the Aida Maria
The food on our Galapágos Cruises is among the very best you will find in South America. Most of the on-board chefs are internationally trained and have prior experience working in the best hotels and restaurants in Ecuador and indeed around the world.
You can expect a first-class selection of food, including a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced poultry and fish/seafood, rice and pasta dishes. Most boats will always include some typical Ecuadorian dishes on the menu during your cruise. If you have specific dietary requirements then these can usually be accommodated by the chef providing you have given advance notice. Please make sure you tell us about any allergies or dietary requirements you have at the time you book with us. If you leave it until you arrive at the dockside, then it may well be impossible to accommodate your needs.
Most boats serve a range of options at meal times in a relaxed buffet-style. At the first class and luxury end of the market, some boats have more formal dining where you will be served at your seat. However the atmosphere is always relaxed on board our cruises, and never stuffy or formal.
Cabins categories on board the Aida Maria
The M/Y AIDA MARIA has 8 very comfortable double cabins located on 3 decks, 4 on main deck, 2 on the upper deck and 2 on the sun deck. Each cabin has upper and lower beds, private bathroom with hot showers, all air-conditioned, all cabins have the same price and are assigned on first come first serve basis, so if you want the upper deck cabins please be the first one to make your reservation and ask for availability, however all cabins are the same size and have the same facilities.
Reviews of Aida Maria
Very beautiful cruise with everything you can wish for Just came back from a fantastic five week trip to South America. We (sister and myself, early 20s) completed a fantastic eight day / seven night cruise of the Galapagos Islands with Aida Maria.
When researching our trip to the Galápagos, there were not many recent reviews of boats. Our criteria for the trip was based on dates, cost and itinerary. The Aida Maria met those criteria, so we hoped for the best and booked our 8 day/7 night cruise over Christmas.
The boat was well maintained and our cabin was clean, but a little small. There was little room for luggage, so pack lightly! We were fortunate in that we had a main deck room and could open a window. I believe the rooms lower deck were noisier and smelt of fuel due to their location near the engine. We used the common outdoor areas when navigating between islands, but there were also seats indoors to use during free time.
Food was plentiful and tasty, though simple. Had seafood at least one meal everyday, with lots of fruit, rice and salads on the side. Breakfast was generally eggs, cereal, toast and fruit. They made a special effort Christmas Eve with a whole Turkey for dinner. Impressive when you saw the size of the kitchen!
We covered the northern, central and southern islands of Galápagos in our cruise. We saw lots of birds and most land animals. Snorkelling was a little disappointing due to poor clarity and not a lot of fish, but as Australians we have been fortunate with some excellent snorkelling experiences in the Great Barrier Reef. Most days we did two land based trips and two snorkelling trips. The boat had two pangas so all 16 passengers on board could get to the island in one trip. Land based trips generally didn't consist of long walks, but rather short meanders on the beach, with our guide stopping to tell us about the animals, history, or plants. The boats itineraries were all well organised so landing sights / walks / snorkelling sights were not overrun with tourists.
Due to the large distances between islands, we were often navigating at night. The boat was reasonably small and rocked a lot when moving. If you suffer from sea sickness, ensure you pack medication.
The crew didn't speak much English, but they were very attentive. Our guide was informative and helpful.
Overall we had a fantastic trip. We both felt that 8 days was just the right length - any shorter and you feel as if you have missed seeing lots, but any more than 8 days in a boat would have been a little too long for us! We also both felt that a boat trip was the way to see the Galapagos islands. The distances between islands is large and by cruising, you maximise the time available on islands to see the flora and fauna.
caitlin p from Edmonton, Canada
Dream vacation I took a 15 day tour of all the Islands (except Darwin and Wolf which are for diving only) on the Aida Maria. Although I did a lot of research and booked the tour for the Eden, the day before we arrived we received a letter saying that it would be docked and would have to switch to the Aida Maria. I was upset after all that research to be changed but it turned out to be the BEST. The Aida Maria is more up to date than the Eden.
This was an amazing vacation, especially for an environmental scientist! Our crew was great. We had amazing food and if you have specific requirements they were more than happy to provide alternatives. It was an incredibly active with hiking and snorkeling sometimes both twice a day! Bring a wet suit if you are snorkeling on the west side of Isabella island.
Although you would think that the islands are pristine, they are not. there are 4 cities and like any city that have brought in invasive species that looked pretty or was brought in to solve pest problems. Each island is so unique and I couldn't imagine having been the other 16 passengers that stayed 3 - 7 days, YOU MUST DO THE 15.
My one complaint would be our guide was young and didn't have a voice or "backbone" to tell the other passengers to stay on the path. It was extremely frustrating, especially one girl that would ALWAYS wonder off the path to get a great picture when 5 meters farther it would be sitting on the path.
This was a great trip for the more relaxed personalities who don't mind wearing the same outfit a couple of times unlike some of the yacht goers.
Wonderful cruise and experience Just an update - we booked the Aida Maria in March for our vacation, and it was wonderful. Heather was correct that it was not a luxury ship, but it was excellent and the crew was wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone looking at staying on a smaller ship. We had 16 people on board and really got to know each other over the week. I've talked to people who booked a larger ship and while they may have had entertainment and such, I think that takes away from the joys of the islands. Would go back anyday.